Page last updated 07 April 2024


For those of you not living in the UK who would like to view the Remembrance Service please use the following link.

(About 1 hour 35 mins)

Alan Breward took pictures of the FAA groups as they lined up ahead of the Remembrance March Past, at Horse Guards Parade and afterwards at the FAA Memorial. Use this link to view them:



Alan says he apologises if you are not in the pictures but stand forward next year?


Alan Breward Fleet Air Arm Buccaneer Association.



Mario Cacciottolo  has sent a letter to various FAA organisations as he is trying to contact veterans involved in the Torrey Canyon Bombing during 1967. If anyone can offer advice on tracking down veterans involved in this incident, or they themselves were involved please contact him at A full copy of the letter can be downloaded or viewed by clicking on the image.

Those who weren't at Lossiemouth but were involved at Brawdy or Yeovilton may also want to contact Mario with their experiences.



Tina Cullen, Verger at the FAA Memorial Church has posted the following message:

Following on from last year’s successful get together of Associations, we would like to invite you and your members to join us on Palm Sunday (13 April) for a service of Holy Communion which will include the traditional Palm Sunday Procession, the blessing of any Standards present and prayers for members who have died in the year since the last service. In good, Church of England tradition, there will be tea and cake available after the service!

Last year we had good attendance due to the Junglie Association being in the area following their AGM. This will not be the case this year so we would really appreciate your support in sending representatives of your Association to this, YOUR church. 

Below are images of the ceremony held on Sunday 13th



The 2013 Reunion was held at the Royal Court Hotel at Coventry from Friday 7th June until Sunday 9th June.

All the pictures from Alan Breward, Robin Harper & Phil Glover of this year's reunion are now on-line; use the quick links below.

Friday Night Pictures   Saturday Night's pictures    Sunday's Pictures (NMA)




Some pictures taken by Royal Navy Photographers & other when the Queen Elizabeth arrived in New York yesterday 19th October.



809 NAS is to be resurrected as the first Royal Navy formation to fly the Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.

809 Naval Air Squadron, whose motto is simply ‘Immortal’, is to be reformed to operate the fifth-generation stealth aircraft that will fly from the Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth Class carriers from 2018.

The Lightning II aircraft will be jointly operated by pilots from the Fleet Air Arm and the Royal Air Force.
Earlier this year, it was announced by the Chief of the Air Staff that the famous 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron would be the first RAF squadron to fly the jets. Both Royal Navy and RAF pilots are already training on the Lightning II aircraft alongside the US Marine Corps at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
809 Naval Air Squadron, which dates back to the Second World War, has been selected by the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir George Zambellas, because of its history of striking at the enemy in operations across the globe. In previous incarnations, aircraft from the squadron supported an attack on Hitler’s flagship, supported the invasions of North Africa, Italy and southern France during the Second World War and saw action in Suez in 1956.
It was last reformed to support operations in the Falkland Islands; the squadron also flew the Navy’s last Buccaneer, a low-level strike bomber flown in the 1960s and 1970s.

Admiral Zambellas said:
I am delighted to announce that the name of the second Lightning II squadron, when it forms, will be 809 Naval Air Squadron. This squadron number is chosen to link with and reflect the proud and distinguished history of embarked carrier strike, from the Second World War to the Falklands.
The early naming of 809 alongside the RAF’s 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron is a very visible demonstration of a joint ambition, spirit of collaboration and shared equity in the Joint Lightning Force.
When not at sea as part of the UK’s carrier strike force, the squadron will be based at RAF Marham in Norfolk. The joint nature of the squadrons means naval personnel will serve with the Dambusters, and their Air Force counterparts will do likewise on 809 Naval Air Squadron. (see for more information.

To read the full speech by the First Sea Lord to RUSI click here



Pictures of the FAABA Contingent taken by Mick Gowan at the Remembrance Day Ceremony in London on the 11th November and also the at the FAA Memorial afterwards.

It was excellent to see so many association members in London today on such a glorious Remembrance Day.  The gathering at the FAA Memorial on Embankment was a fine event once again.   

There was feedback about the long wait whilst associations gathered to march to Embankment, and whilst some waiting is inevitable at such an event it is unfortunate nonetheless.  This will be discussed at the next meeting, but overall I am sure an excellent day was had by all.

Attached are some poems written by the children of Windale Primary School, which sum things up very nicely.  Many thanks to the children, and to their Deputy Head Teacher Mrs Vicky Williams for bringing them to London to be shared with all.



Phil Carpenter

Secretary, Fly Navy Federation

Childrens Letters 1   Childrens Letters 2
Click on images and hyperlinks to view pictures and the childrens' letters

FAA Memorial Stone at the National Memorial Arboretum

Update on the FAA Memorial at the NMA 

Repairs: Paddy Clark (FAAOA) attended the last meeting of the FNF and gave a comprehensive brief on the completion of repairs to the frost-damage, and for detailing the proposals for the placement of logos and crests.  It has been decided to monitor the paintwork, which is ‘ageing’ as opposed to looking tatty.  Currently finance for the day-to-day upkeep of the memorial is not considered an issue, but this will continue to be monitored over the coming years.  

Logos and crests: A proposal for the placement of logos and crests was discussed, and a general plan for uniformity of design agreed in principle involving the placing of sandstone ‘paving’ stones separate from, but surrounding the memorial, with association logos and squadron crests sand-blasted on to individual stones.  This was closest to plan ‘B’ from the original 3 options and was agreed by the majority because it was cost-effective (requiring sandstone rather than expensive Portland stone), offered the greatest uniformity, excellent longevity, minimal maintenance, and the largest number of logos/crests to be placed (up to 78 initially, with room for expansion in the future).  Initial ground-works will need to be completed and blank sandstones placed.  The stones will then be removed by associations /squadrons for their specific logo/crest to be sandblasted on to before being formally ‘placed’.  Bronze plaques were discussed but considered too expensive due to each having to be individually cast.  

Funding for the ground-works needs to be found (cost approximately £8000) and, if all associations agree to assist, will be in the region of £750-£1000 per association Although it is a fairly large cost to bear it must be remembered that it is a memorial for the entire FAA that will last for many generations, and will be a great legacy to the generosity of the associations of the Federation.  Association representatives agreed to discuss this with their members at the first available opportunity, and to let the Secretary know the outcome and amount of funds willing to be added to the ‘pot’, in order that the ground-works can be started as soon as possible.  The FAAOA has generously agreed that once it is apparent that funds will be forthcoming from other associations it will underwrite the initial cost in order that work can begin – hopefully before the end of 2010.  Each sandstone block will then cost approximately £200 per association/squadron for (in due course) removal, sandblasting with logo/crest and final placement. We intend to raise this money from the raffle at our 2011 reunion but of course anyone who cannot make the reunion is welcome to send a donation to the Treasurer. 

The FAABA also will be launching an appeal for donations for the ground works in 2011, but we are also looking at the viability of holding a fund raising charity dinner at Yeovilton in 2011 which will be an open invite to any serving and ex FAA personnel. We have two ideas, one being the WO & SR Mess the other a dinner under Concorde at the FAA Museum.  Any feedback on support for either proposal most welcome. (see other article further down this page)


Service Personnel and Veterans Agency


The services of the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency is available to all former members of HM Armed Forces. Full details of the agency can be found on You can also call the free helpline on 0800 169 2277, send an Email to  or write to:


The Veterans Advice Team

Service Personnel and Veterans Agency

Tomlinson House




Best regards

Dave Clark

FN100 Newsletters

1st Newsletter 2nd Newsletter 3rd Newsletter 4th Newsletter 5th Newsletter



800 Squadron Aircraft Maintainers from 1970 - 1972 aboard HMS Eagle attended the recent FAABA 10th Reunion 40 years later to catch up and have a drink together (Click on images to see them full size)

1. Mario DeMarco, 2. Nigel Garbett, 3. Tony Wiffin, 4. Chris Walsh, 5. Dave Morgan, 6. Gary Perkins

FAABA Reunion Photographs 2010   Bruntingthorpe Photograhs 2010
More 800 Squadron Maintainers meet again

Alistair Gilbert and Allan (Jimmy) Green decided to recreate their pose of sitting on the edge of a Buccaneer cockpit previously carried out during HMS Eagle's Far East Tour during 1967/68.

Thanks go to Guy Hulme who supplied a Buccaneer at Bruntingthorpe on Saturday afternoon 19th June for the two friends to recreate the photo.

A Health & Safety risk assessment found they were too old to use the ladders without falling off so we had a platform provided.




All FAABA Members and Guests who attended the 10th Annual Reunion at the Royal Court Hotel at Coventry voted it a resounding success; many new faces were seen and found to be enjoying themselves. The price of drinks had risen to £2 a pint but even that was not enough to put a damper on the weekend as can be seen from the happy faces of drinkers in the photo below.

On the left are another group of happy faces (from the 'Happy Hermes' of 1967/68); these are some of the aircraft maintainers from the Fleet Air Arm's longest serving Buccaneer Squadron (809).

Taff Davis + Don Cockle Johnny Tuke + Mal Drinkwater

Left to Right: Jimmy Andrews, Johnny Tuke, Don Cockle, Alex Muir, Billy Boyd. Missing is Mal Drinkwater who must have been sent for the next round of drinks; he was definitely at the reunion having travelled from Texas two years running.


Three FAABA Members who joined up together at HMS Ganges in 1964 as part of Frobisher 781 Class also got together over the weekend to remember how long ago they had first met and to drink to 46 years as friends.

Left to Right: Jim Reynolds, Al McGurk, Phil Glover

FAA contingent at the FAA Memorial on the Embankment
    Associations “parked up” prior to the march off
  A group of pictures taken by Alan Breward in London November 2011 at the Cenotaph and the FAA Memorial - click on the images to see larger versions




Peter Caird (the Half Brother of Midshipman Alexander J. Caird) has written to the RAF base at Lossiemouth giving further details about his life. He was the son of Alexander Peter Caird (an officer in the Royal Artillery) and Doris Jarvis Caird  (Both now deceased and previously divorced). The Midshipman was listed as Missing presumed killed whilst flying on the 24 June 1952 from HMS Fulmar. We still do not have any idea what the cup was awarded for although it was presented to RNAS Lossiemouth by Lt. Col. and Mrs G A Haward in memory of her son and his step-son. 



Further Research has now established the following details;

Pilot of 766 Squadron

Firefly Mk1 DK569

Flying from HMS Fulmar his aircraft crashed into the sea at Logey Head. Whilst carrying out a quarter attack he spun off a steep turn and failed to recover.


Chris Adams (Ex Lossie & 849HQ/B Flt) has passed on a story that appeared in the Northern Scot Newspaper  in January & February this year; has anyone heard of this cup?

Sergeant Tony Carlin, station historian at RAF Lossiemouth, is appealing for help to solve a puzzle. In November, a trophy arrived in the post in a package addressed to the station museum. There was no letter accompanying it, nor any information about who had sent it - the only information available was the inscription on the trophy and its name - the “Caird Challenge Cup”.

Sgt Carlin says: “I have done some research and found out that Midshipman Caird died in a flying incident at RNAS Lossiemouth in 1952; his plane crashed into the sea. But I don't know anything about The Caird Challenge Cup. If we could find out a bit more about the trophy we could decide if the cup should stay in the museum at RAF Lossiemouth. Also, it would be interesting to know who sent me the trophy.”

The trophy, which is silver and stands 22cm high, was sent in a package that was postmarked Thetford (Norfolk). The inscription on the lid reads: In memory of Midshipman A.J. Caird from his parents Lt Col & Mrs G.A. Haward and Family 24th June 1952.

On one side of the trophy is the inscription: The Caird Challenge Cup, RNAS Lossiemouth.

And on the reverse side is a list of recipients/winners from 1952 to 1962 including RAF Kinloss, Sgt Parsons, CPO Cox, CPO Moore and CPO Lillington RNSA.

Click here to view Article 1 & Article 2


Pictures by Alan Breward taken at the FAA Fixed Wing Reunion Dinner; click on a picture to enlarge




We have been asked to provide a plaque to commemorate the FAA Buccaneer Association that will probably be positioned on the memorial plinth and the FAABA have already donated £500 to help with this project, with further funding coming from the sale of whiskey. We are now asking for donations for the final phase which is the outer groundworks and siting of the stones. (updated, see article at top of this page)

Please send your donations to Dave Clark making the cheque payable to the FAABA and marking the reverse of the cheque 'Nat. Arboretum Fund'. If everyone in the Association sent £5 we would meet and exceed our target and send out a clear message of support to the FNF.

<-- Completed Monument on 11th September.


Thanks go to Alan & Vicky Breward for the pictures on the left of the completed memorial which were taken  after the dedication ceremony at the National Arboretum.

Click here to see recent other photos of the construction taking place


FAABA Members outside the Royal Court Hotel on Saturday 6th June. Another successful reunion was held with many new faces enjoying the Royal Court Hotel facilities on the Friday and Saturday. More details will be published over the next few days..... Pictures can be viewed by clicking on the button below

Reunion Pictures     View Video

Pictures from 2009 Reunion


A service of thanksgiving and remembrance was held on the morning of Friday 8th May 2009 at St Paul's Cathedral to commemorate One Hundred Years of Naval Aviation.  The service was open to anyone who had served with the Fleet Air Arm or who has/had close connections with the Service.  Alan Breward attended this event and has made some pictures available..............

Click here to view a selection




The Swordfish Centenary Beer was launched in London on Wednesday 20th May and is now on draught in Weatherspoons and in bottles at Tesco, Please see attached image of Swordfish Beer... the bottle has changed (it is bigger now) and the label is slightly larger with more Fairey Swordfish on it. A portion of the profits goes to the Heritage Trust so get drinking with a clear conscience. A launch of FN100 stamps was also made available from the launch date.



This event will be held at The Limes Country Lodge, Earlswood (just off the M42) on Saturday 17th November, Up Spirits at 1830. The Black Tie event is held at the premises of one of our members, Dave (Birdie) Morris with all proceeds going to Service Charities. Last years event was a fantastic night out with a packed entertainment package from comedy to music with a casino and late night dancing for “The Stayers”!!! The association has booked two tables of 10 so first names received will get the tickets.

For those of you who did not attend the Elgin Reunion this year why not come to the Limes Charity Ball instead.

Those who wish to attend this excellent Ball please give their expression of interest to either Les Smith, Dave Clark  or Brian Stanley. We have provisionally booked two tables.

Picture from the 2011 ball




Presentation of an Engraved Bell to the WO & SNCO’s Mess HMS Fulmar

Dave Clark, the secretary of the FAABA, returned to the WO & SNCO Mess on the 23rd July 2008 and presented WO Dianne McLeish, the CMC, with a beautiful brass hand bell as a thank you to the mess for allowing them to hold this memorable function here. Dave once again acknowledged that the mess had been excellent hosts for the evening and the members of the association had been delighted at having the opportunity to return to RAF Lossiemouth after such a long period. Mr Hughie Williams the Chairman, of the recently reformed HMS Fulmer Association also attended the presentation. The CMC rang the bell to celebrate its arrival and to signal “Toofers” before placing it behind the Top Bar (the old Petty Officers Mess) where hopefully it will be rung many more times by the members of the mess

Dave Clark, Diana McLeish (CMC RAF Lossiemouth) and Hughie Williams





A selection of pictures provided by Mick Gowen taken whilst the contingent awaited their turn to march past the Cenotaph




The Fleet Air Arm Museum currently have a project underway to rebuild a Fairey Barracuda from a pile of damaged parts and other items recovered from crash sites over the years. There is no example of this aircraft anywhere as all examples have been destroyed with no survivors. As Captain Eric Brown says;

“Here is news to stir all naval aviators, a Fairey Barracuda is to be restored to rise phoenix-like form the wrecks of others. The once prolific Barra – some 2,600 were built by the Fairey, Blackburn, Boulton Paul and Westland factories for the Fleet Air Arm, where the aircraft received a mixed reception. It was never a pleasing sight in flight, and a positive eyesore when in the landing configuration. However, to be fair to the Barra it was not all bad news, for although it did not perform at all well in the torpedo-dropping role, it could lay claim to being an effective dive-bomber. Most indisputable of all, it was the easiest aeroplane to land on an aircraft carrier, and so with the help of rocket assistance, for take-off. It was able to operate from small carriers and give valuable anti-submarine protection to convoys in the Battle of the Atlantic. All in all, a welcome will await this orphan of the storms when it finally re-appears as the only one of its type in the world.”

  -Captain Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown, CBE, DSC, AFC, MA, Hon FRAeS, RN

The Buccaneer Association would like to publicise this to help bring it to the attention of all who could donate funds to the project, regardless of how little that is.


How it looks now

How it could look like (with TLC)

How to donate?

Donate online via the Just Giving website page at

Need more information? Use these links;

To download a poster to help publicise this Click Here


The culmination of John Keenan's 3 years of hard work in New Zealand building his own aircraft, whilst the rest of us were down the pub he was getting energy from somewhere. For those who don't know John he was on 801 Buccaneer Squadron at an early stage of his career.


If you wish to attend the reunion and are not a member of the Buccaneer Association please download a copy of both the forms listed below; please read the "FAABA Reunion 2020 NM Meal letter" before filling out and returning your "Meal Booking Form". Any queries please email Robin Harper at as soon as possible.

Please note: This will be the only method of booking meals as the hotel will only take orders through FAABA; there is also a supplementary charge towards the evenings entertainment for each guest as well.

Download the "FAABA Reunion 2020 Non-Members Meal Letter": Click_Here

Download the "FAABA Meal Booking Form 2020 Non-Members 28-6-19 Version" (Word Doc): Click_Here

or alternatively;

Download the "FAABA Meal Booking Form 2020 Non-Members 28-6-19 Version" (.pdf): Click_Here



The FAABA Reunion will be held from Friday 2nd June until Sunday 4th June at the Royal Court Hotel near Coventry (CV7 8JG). 

The Association are inviting all Ark Royal and other carrier Air Groups (any commission) as well as the 892 & SHAR Associations to the reunion who wish to attend.  

Prices: (all prices per person)


3 Nights (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) 150
2 Nights (Fri/Sat or Sat/Sun) 120
1 Night (Saturday Only) 80
Thursday night prior (if required) 50
Friday Carvery (non hotel guests) 18
Sat Gala Dinner (non hotel guests) 25


Entertainment will be provided by the Royal Marine Association Dance Band & Singers.

To cover the cost of the superior music provided at the Gala Dinner; a one off charge of £10 will be levied on all guests including members. Any shortfall will be met from association funds.

The usual one-off charge of £10 for pre-dinner drinks will be levied on all persons attending except Full and Life Members of the association. This covers Friday & Saturday night's.

Drink Prices (Our Bar Only):

2.50 House Wine, Bitter, 2 types of Lager, Cider
3.00 Guinness
Due to a change in policy by the Britannia Hotel Group, all hotel bookings have to be made direct with them using the attached booking form; please print it out then complete it and scan it. On completion email it to the hotel using the address given on the form (or put it in the post). For your security, the form requires you to pay by cheque or Credit Card only (No debit cards), you type/write in only the first four and last 4 digits of your credit card number. When the hotel receives the form they will email or write to you for the other numbers on the credit card to complete the transaction. I asked Brian Sharrock (Event's Organizer) if the hotel could confirm that the card details would not be used until two months prior to the event and this is the answer I received. “I have spoken to the Royal Court Hotel this morning ref question raised by Phil on payments for reunion, the hotel say that once they receive the booking form they contact the guest and ask them if they want to pay up front or if they want payment made 8 weeks prior to event (2-April). As for cancellation they will give full refund up to 48hrs before the event.”

Once a month we will receive details of bookings from the hotel and we will prepare a list of members and guests attending. If possible would all those attending inform Brian Sharrock at with details of their booking.

We will send out a form nearer to the event to all those attending with details of payment required to the association for pre-dinner drinks and for the RMA Dance Band.



The Sea Harrier Association would like to invite any members of the Buccaneer Association to join them during their annual reunion in March this year.
The weekend is 20th-21st March at Drayton Manor Hotel, which is part of the Drayton Manor theme park complex at Tamworth, B78 3TW.
The week end will consist of a dinner Friday night and a Gala evening on the Saturday

Single room - Friday - £126.50. Saturday - £140.00. both includes B+B & Evening dinner
Double room - Friday £158. Saturday £185 includes both B+B & Evening 'Gala' dinner.
Saturday Evening will be a 'Gala Evening' to celebrate 40 years since the First Front Line Sea Harrier Squadron commissioning and we plan to have a band to play. Which will be subsidised by the Association. Therefore, should any of your members be interested we'd charge an extra £10 for the Saturday.
No payment is expected yet and we are going to arrange with the Hotel that a booking can be made using a booking code and secured with a credit card. Payment will only be taken on arrival or should you fail to attend and do not cancel the booking within an arranged period.

Yours Aye
Bob Gellett
Sea Harrier Association Membership Secretary;   SHAR Association 



From Robin Harper: Every available room at the Mansefield hotel, Elgin has now been booked by members for next year's reunion; if any members haven't yet booked they can still contact me to be put on a reserve list in case of cancellations.
There is also a Guest House just across the road from the hotel called St. Michaels. It looks very nice and the prices are not far off what we are paying. It has 8 rooms.


If any members of the association haven't heard from the Secretary - Next year the reunion will be held at the Mansefield House Hotel in Elgin. This hotel is expected to provide a better level of accommodation than our usual hotel and due to a previous booking here our usual dates around the first weekend in June have not been available. If you would like to attend please make your wishes known to Robin Harper using his email address shown at the bottom of this page. Demand for rooms is high so an early notice will be essential in being able to stay in the hotel where the FAABA Reunion Dinner is being held.

The Mansefield Hotel is in the centre of town so booking another hotel nearby will not be a major issue for those not able to obtain a room there.



From Brian Stanley,

Concurrently, the Legion has been working with DCMS, the MoD and others to define the planning parameters for the annual Remembrance weekend given the ongoing restrictions in place to minimise the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Legion team is acutely aware that Associations administrative timeline is now short and that your members will be keen to understand the arrangements that are now in place for a reduced and socially distanced Cenotaph Dispersal in this exceptional year.
Whilst the overall number of participants in this year’s Cenotaph Dispersal must be significantly reduced to approximately 2200 to comply with social distancing guidelines, it is also considered hugely important that in the centenary year of The Cenotaph, every Service Association is able to be represented. To that end, each association will be allocated eight spaces.

Please respond ASAP to me if you want to attend. Sadly I wont be attending as only yesterday the Street RBL Chairman and I came up with a plan to celebrate here in Street and Glastonbury involving the Parish council and Police as I hadn’t heard from the headquarters.

Brian Stanley



80 Years ago this Sunday on the 17th January 1941 the SS Almeda Star was sunk on its way to Trinidad, this resulted in the loss of 360 crew, Gunners and Passengers. Amongst the passengers there were 20 Officers and 120 Ratings of the Fleet Air Arm transiting to HMS Goshawk, the Royal Naval Air Station at Piarco, Trinidad. Also among the passenger were 7 family members of the Aircrew. Please keep them in your thoughts this Sunday. You can read more about this devastating loss by opening or downloading the pdf files supplied below.

Story of the Loss of the SS Almedar Star


The Fleet Air Arm Roll of Honour - SS Almeda Star


Click on the images above to download or read the pdf files


Pictures from the 2019 Remembrance Sunday event supplied by Chris Lawrence


Click on any image to see full size


From Jim Moulson (FAAA). Just a quick note to say thanks to all who mustered on Saturday morning, it was a good turnout complete with Standard Bearer and a RM Bugler. The weather was kind to us and there were a good number of our ladies there to support us. The Bugler was a complete mystery to me and he said that he had tried to contact me and sent an email which I never received. However, the mystery was solved by the Webmaster, Ray Day, following the post I put on Facebook. A lady, the Bugler's friend/partner was browsing and came across the post and contacted Ray who gave her my contact details. Even though we never spoke he turned up on the off chance that he might be needed, problem solved. Below is a copy of what was published on the FAAA Website, FAAA Facebook and the FAAA unofficial Facebook page, so hopefully reaching out to people who may consider joining the Association.

An excellent turnout on Saturday at the Fleet Air Arm Memorial, Lee-on-Solent to pay our respects to the fallen of the conflict against the Japanese during WW2. There were 16 members in total including our National Secretary Peter Murray who had travelled down from Pinner to join us. It was touch and go with regards to the Standard, our official Standard Bearer, Ben Fenn, was unavailable, but at the last hour on Friday evening our previous holder of the post, Ron Chitty, offered to come out of retirement for the event. A very fine job he did too for a mere snip of a man at 89 years of age!
Also to our surprise, a very smart gentleman was standing with the members, on introduction it turned out to be a ex Royal Marine Bugler who offered to sound the last post and reveille for us. I had no idea how he found out we were going to hold a small informal ceremony. Just before 11:00 The Last Post was sounded, the Standard dipped, followed by 2 minutes silence and then reveille. On completion the wreaths were laid, the Association National by me and the Solent by the chairman Charlie Fitzgerald. A lot of people walking along the sea front also stopped and paid their respects. On completion we had a well deserved "up spirits", after a while we dispersed to retire to the Court Barn Conservative Club for a beer and bite to eat.
A huge thanks to all who joined the gathering, not forgetting our ladies too who came along to support us, as they always do and to our visiting photographer, Jenny. I must say that the Memorial and the surrounds are looking a bit tatty, I may need to call on the Buffers Party (Solent Branch volunteers) to spruce it up!

The Wreaths

Ron Chitty


2 Minutes Silence

Up Spirits



We have been informed by Dick's family that he is currently quite ill in hospital in London; he is currently in an induced coma while the medical specialists treat an auto-immune problem meaning his immune system is attacking healthy cells rather than protecting them. Dick is aware when his wife Jan visits and he is in the best hospital for the care he needs, please keep him in your thoughts and hope he pulls through this. UPDATE: Dick is starting his recovery although it may take 18 months but at least the doctors have diagnosed the problem as Autoimmune Encephalitis. Dick can now stand and talk when the feeding tube is out, looking better each day but a long path ahead to recovery.

For those who don't know Dick, he originally joined 700Z Buccaneer IFTU shortly before it became 809 in 1963 as an Artificer Apprentice; in 1965 he joined 736 and by 1967 he was on 801 Squadron as an AA2. Later he was the first engineer to join the RN Unit at RAF Honington in July 1970, after further training Dick returned to the RN Unit as a Sub/Lt fron 1974-75, he was then a DAEO on 809 from 1976-77.

Dick pictured in Sydney, NSW in October 1968 during the visit by HMS Hermes

In 1981Dick was appointed AEO of 801 SHAR Squadron and he served with them aboard HMS Invincible in 1982 during the Falklands Conflict.



Harold Williams of the Buccaneer Association has had requests from SHAR Members trying to obtain their Association ties ready for this years Remembrance Parade; he says he has quite a few available for members to buy. His only note is that you order off him early enough to give him time to post it to you before the Parade.

Harold says to contact him by email at if you wish to order.



The Buccaneer Aviation Group (TBAG) have just released their first book - "You'll never run a Buccaneer out of the boot of a Car"

TBAG invite you to purchase this unique insight into twenty years of restoring and running their two Buccaneers, first at Bruntingthorpe and now at Cotswold Airport, Kemble. All monies except printing costs made from sales of the bookazine will go towards the continued running of the their two Buccaneer's. The book has received good reviews and 110 have been sold so far; also being shipped abroad to Germany, Dubai and Israel with enquires from both Florida and Australia

It's the story of a few people with the dream of "saving" a Buccaneer from the scrap yard and ....... who knows? They started with nothing and achieved so much. The first chapter sums up the rest of the book in its title “From Scrap yard to Serviceability” the story of how the volunteers began work to return XX894 and XW544 to running condition back in 2004. Anecdotes from the volunteers add colour and a personal insight into what TBAG means to them, it is their story of how they succeeded in “Running a Buccaneer out of the boot of a car".

The book includes a foreword from Group Captain Tom Eeles who accumulated over 2000 hours flying in the Buccaneer, and Ken Ellis/FlyPast magazine. This A4 sized professionally drafted bookazine is produced using high quality paper with 140 full colour pages filled with many images which have been seen publically before of TBAG at work from 2004 onwards. The images are complimented by some stunning night shoot images from TBAG photographer friends.

I hope you will help and purchase a copy? This link will tell you more about the book and provide purchasing information should any of you wish to own a copy.

All of your payment less printing cost go, as always, to keeping these magnificent aircraft running and displaying to the public. No TBAG volunteers have taken any payment or fee.



This year the annual Service of Remembrance will go ahead on Sunday 14th November; FAABA need to know how many tickets we require for the event so we can apply to the British Legion for them by the 14th June. If you plan to attend this year please notify Brian Stanley by early June so that he can obtain tickets from the limited supply available.

The British Legion's intent is to seek as broad a representation of the veteran community as possible so they cannot guarantee that all associations will obtain all the tickets they apply for.

 Please notify Brian Stanley as soon as possible by email at if you require tickets.


From the Fly Navy Federation meeting held April 2021:

The Royal Naval Association (RNA) has decided to open-up its London Parade, held biennially on Whitehall, to all associations of the RN, and consequently to rename it the ‘Naval Associations Parade’. It is open to serving and veteran RN/RM personnel, National and Branch Standards will be paraded, and there will be an RN contingent. In addition, this year’s event will be in honour of all shipmates lost during the Pandemic (whether to Covid-19 or not), in order to give them a proper send-off, which has been denied to many. The event will have very senior representation, but is shorter in duration and less-formal than Remembrance Sunday, and will thus be more ‘approachable’ for many. Wreaths will not be laid. This Parade and initiative is welcomed by the Federation, and the Chairman has confirmed to the RNA that Associations of the FAA will be attending with Standards. Following the Parade there will be a social gathering at the Civil Service Club (Old Scotland Yard). With smaller numbers attending than for Remembrance Sunday, affordable accommodation in London should be more readily available.

UPDATE: This year's Naval Associations Parade will be held on Sunday, September 12th. This is for all Naval veterans but this year the FAA will march as a group which will form from all the FAA Associations within the Fly Navy Federation banner. So if anyone wishes to march with the Fleet Air Arm Buccaneer Association contingent please let me (Brian Stanley) have your name a.s.a.p. All associations will be coordinated through the FNF Secretary when I have a group listing. It will be held at Whitehall and be similar in format to the annual remembrance parade. I expect the post march PU will follow on similar lines!!! All those interested please contact our coordinator, the FAABA Chairman who's email address can be found on the Committee page (button on LH menu).



Do you have any Wrens in your family?

I’m not referring to the tiny, feathered variety in the garden but the indomitable ladies who joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Specifically, ladies who joined up between 1946 and 1981 and did their basic training at Training Depot Burghfield/HMTE Burghfield/HMTE Dauntless/HMS Dauntless/Reading.

Dauntless Divisional Photos is a nationwide project, in collaboration with the Association of Wrens, to gather divisional photographs and memories from those training days but also to reunite ladies with old friends, share anecdotes and relive exciting moments.

So if you, your mum, granny, aunt, godmother or even next door neighbour donned a blue suit and aimed for a life on the ocean wave, please get in touch on either or 07765 435295/0771 990 9844.

Many thanks
Mandy Powell & Janette Crisp
Project Coordinators



From TBAG Group Secretary, Mike Overs on behalf of all the volunteers at Kemble.

The FAABA and its members have supported TBAG generously over the last few years and particularly during our Hobson's Choice of a move out of Bruntingthorpe.

TBAG would not have chosen 2020 as the year to move from Bruntingthorpe given a choice or only having £6000 in our account.

Looking back would we still have moved the jets to Kemble so they can display as a living testimony to everyone involved from 1955 onwards? I have not met a person inside TBAG or in the external Cold War / Classic Vintage Jets community that’s has said NO. Not one.

So “On We Go!” dealing with the cards we are dealt.

It doesn’t need a rocket scientist to realise that TBAG, like many organisations and individuals, has been unable to secure any income since Covid hit.

We have been proactive seeking grants and relief from our creditors BUT the reality is that we need to find another income stream other than subscriptions from the volunteers, to sustain and take TBAG into July and August when we can meaningfully find our feet again and hold events.

So BUCCANEER BUDDIES is launched ….

We offer FAABA members the choice of any one of four tiers with the choice of annual, family annual or lifetime subscription. The Platnum Tier is flexible to those that might feel inclined to support us in their own way.

The Buccaneer Aviation Group - Buccaneer Buddies Supporters Scheme January 2021.

NA39 Tier

• £25/annum or £100 Lifetime or £75 family/annum (up to max of 5 people living at the same address).

Benefits other than just good old plain support for the jets ….
Welcome Gift – choice of metallic TBAG lapel Pin or either a FAA Buccaneer or RAF RBF Key Ring,
Newsletter (x4 times/annum).
History of TBAG leaflet, hardcopy (fee applies) or electronic.
5% discount on shop merchandise, including on-line sales (up to a max saving of £15 per annum).

Buccaneer S1 Tier

• £35/annum or £140 Lifetime or £105 family/annum (up to 5 people living at the same address).

As NA39 Tier

5% discount rises up to a max saving of £20.
5% discount off events booked on line through TBAG ShOPs.
Quarterly Raffle – Events and At Home Day free tickets worth £100/£55 or £35.

Buccaneer S2 Tier

• £50/annum or £200 Lifetime or £150 family/annum (up to 5 people living at the same address).

As S1 Tier

Free Bi-annual Magazine.
Free Supporters Event once a year, resources permitting.
Bi-annual Raffle – Back Seat Sit (Anti-Det) worth £250.

Buccaneer 544/894 Tier
(Platinum Club)

• Any monthly payment of £20 or over. Or £1000 Lifetime or £750 family/annum (up to 5 people living at the same address).

As S2 Tier.

Bespoke access to the aircraft and annual Raffle for a back seat ride (subject to serviceability and current availability – 2022 onwards.)

The choices are shown above and payment can be through PayPal, BACS or cheque. If you are interested, please contact Mike Overs at

Thanks for reading.


800 SQUADRON 1964-65

John Hodgkinson, the DAEO(M) of 800 Squadron from when it formed in March 1964 with the Mk1 Buccaneer aircraft and during 1965 has written in the guest book that he would be very interested to hear from anyone else who was in the squadron at that time. The AEO was Lt Cdr Bolus, the other AEO's were Lt Bob Adamson and Lt Roger Pinhey; John is now living in Torquay and can be emailed at  



Copy of certificate and letter for the Buccaneer Association's recent charity donation to Blind Veterans' UK via Carl Jordan.

Click on image to see in full size


The happy band who attended the 2019 Reunion (Click on picture for full size)

As per the decision made at the AGM; £250 from the proceeds of the raffle has already been donated to Blind Veterans UK



Only £3 each, available from H. Williams (Contact details on Slops or Committee Pages)


Dear fellow members of the Fly Navy Federation, 

In these trying times, it is clear that a lot of the burden and worry is falling on the shoulders of the elderly.  To be a bit more parochial and in the finest traditions of the Fleet Air Arm (and also now very much in line with the latest government request for volunteers, answered by over 400,000 people in 24 hours!),  I wonder if some of you might consider picking up the phone on the odd occasion whilst we are all sitting at home under lockdown.   A simple 5 minute phone call and bit of banter with a fellow member of your own Association might be all it needs to lift their spirits.   Time to gather round our shipmates perhaps?     

Stay safe. 


Jock Alexander

Cdre Jock Alexander OBE MA FRAeS



'HMS FEARLESS 1982' authors have finally realised the initiative to compile and produce an Anthology of her Falklands Campaign experience.

The link goes fully live on Monday, but is open for pre-orders right now from the following website:

The Mailing Distributor will not be able to start posting the book until after 23 May. So please be patient and allow 10 working days to receive, especially if there is a hoped-for rush to buy!

If anyone has any questions please contact the FAABA Secretary.



Please find details below of the Falklands 40 Commemoration Service to be held on Wednesday the 25th of May. The service will take place at RNAS Yeovilton (NOT at St. Bart’s), followed by lunch in the Senior Rates Mess. There will be the opportunity to visit the FAA Memorial Church, FAA Museum and Falklands Avenue in the afternoon. Feel free to spread the word wherever you think you may find someone who would like to come along. Closing date is 13 April.

Also forwarded below from Brian Stanley is a request from the British Modern Military History Society for Falklands stories to go in to a Falklands 40 Commemorative book. The British Modern Military History Society is compiling a book of people’s experiences of the Falklands War to mark the 40th anniversary. We are looking for memories, stories and reflections from those who served, civilians, Falkland islanders and even from an Argentine
perspective too. All profits will go to the charity Blind Veterans UK, as with our previous two books, Glimpses of War, published on Amazon earlier this year.

I am looking for stories/articles of 500 to 1500 words, not so much the history but the personal memories of events. I am trying to get contributions in by the end of January if at all possible, to give us time to publish in May. For those who are interested in writing something or want to find our more they should contact me on

Andy Cockeram


As you may have guessed, we have decided it would be too unpredictable to go ahead with the delayed 2020 reunion in 2021. Instead we have booked the Mansefield hotel in Elgin once more for 2022 and have decided to have a later event around the time that the FAA left RNAS Lossiemouth 50 years ago. Full details are not yet available, but if you would pencil in the 7th to the 9th October 2022 so that you don't take a cruise (as if).

The deposits previously paid by you for 2020 are still valid for those who had booked previously. Please check this article regularly and I will let you know when the Reunion page has been updated; Meal prices have now been added.



Message to all FAABA Members: The Committee took the decision during the Pandemic to make a donation on behalf of the members to one of our favourite charities; Blind Veterans UK. Below is a copy of the letter from Blind Veterans acknowledging receipt.


May thanks to all our members for their support for this donation;

Robin Harper, Association Secretary.


Members will find the necessary information and documentation for Accommodation or just meals (to download) in the Members Only area under the "Association Info" Menu.

Members who do not require accommodation but just want attend the reunion and to book meal(s) will also find the forms to download.

Please be advised to read all the supplied information on how to submit their completed forms and take note of the payment dates.


The information below is applicable to people who are not members of the Buccaneer Association but would like to attend this year's FAABA Reunion at the Mansefield Hotel in Elgin during the dates shown above

Click on the image to the left to see the readable/downloadable copy of the Covering letter which gives full instructions on booking for those non-members who wish to attend the reunion

Click on the image to the left to see the downloadable copy of the accommodation booking form

Click on the image to the left to see the readable/downloadable copy of the Non-Members Meal Booking covering letter which gives full instructions on booking for those non-members who wish to attend the reunion but do not require accommodation.

Click on the image to the left to see the downloadable copy of the Meal booking form


For Buccaneer Day 2024 at Yorkshire Air Museum three Yorkshire Blackburn Buccaneers will be on display at the museum including a live running of the Navy Bucc aircraft XN974 to mark 30 years since the jet retired. XN974 was delivered to the Fleet Air Arm in June1964 and was transferred to the RAF in January 1971. XN974 joined the museum in 1991; fast taxi runs are no longer permitted by the airfield's owners but live running still continues. Elvington Museum YO41 4AU, 01904 608595. South East of York.

XN974 started out as a Mk1 but was modified during build and was the first Production Buccaneer Mk2 delivered. It was one of the aircraft used by C Squadron  (Boscombe Down) aboard USS Lexington to carry out the Mk2 Hot Weather Trials in 1965. In August 1965 this aircraft was due back in the UK for maintenance and Commander Geoff Higgs (P) and Lt Cdr J A Taylor flew it back Non-Stop in eight hours from Pensacola via Goose Bay and Keflavik.

Picture of the C Squadron Crew aboard USS Lexington in 1965 for the Trials with one of the 3 aircraft (Note the wooden deck), Picture kindly supplied by Terry Stow (Left rear). Third from left back row is Coventry Man, Charlie Mays (ex 800 1967-69)

Click on image to see full size